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Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox -- Chains and change

Many years ago I worked on a project with 10 others for over a year. When the event came upon us, one committee member suggested that we all get our tickets free because we had worked so hard on the project. What was most appalling was how quickly several of the others agreed.
So, what’s ailing America? That. That very same mindset is what’s ailing America. People believe that certain things that they do should allow them privileges; it is inappropriate, unethical, sometimes illegal, and shows a clear confusion of principles and priorities. It can start as small as a group of 10 volunteers planning an event for 12 dozen guests and go right to the top leaders of a nation like ours.
What we need, above all things, in this nation today is courage in leadership. We need leaders who will break the old moldy molds of the stagnation and greed that lead to free tickets for the few. We need leaders who are owned only by all their constituents and who fundraise on the streets from the people whom they are obligated to serve.
America is dealing with so many issues, right now, that we can hardly stand the cacophony of the spewing leadership and the talking heads. It’s endless and, sometimes, makes us want to hide in a cave until the noise is over, the action starts, and something changes. Of course, change doesn’t come from hiding. We must shake it out by shaking things up, and make it happen.
First, we must remove the comfy cushion from congressional jobs. Our lifelong servants grow not only complacent but attached and obligated to the fullest hands that feed them … financially. We, the people, fill the coffers which should support the programs that support us back. Yet, the monies collected from Americans for our own relief and sustainability are squandered, silently doled out, and/or otherwise spent on mystical plans and pet projects, or products, supplied by our top and favorite conglomerates, keeping our professional leadership in office and wealthy, and keeping the fat cats, fat. It’s a hamster wheel and we’re the hamsters, running in circles with little to show for it.
We must end support of corporations which get huge tax rebates, often without even paying any taxes. We need truly open records of campaign donations or equal and federally funded campaigns. We must overhaul the distribution apparatus of our tax dollars with full disclosure and purchase justification … and can we remember that there are no citizens in Citizens United? Some candidates are specifically drafted and receive huge payouts to render favorable spending and friendly legislation if elected. It’s been proliferating for over 50 years and has gotten us where we are, which is nowhere we’d like to be.
Yes, people need to work and not be given money for nothing, so, first, let’s remember that corporate conglomerates are the biggest drain on our tax system, not public programs. Next, let’s offer people fair jobs by making the bold move of demanding American companies vacate dummy addresses and sweat shops off shore and begin to produce goods at home, employ Americans, pay health insurance (which should be a public program), and rebuild America’s solubility.
Voting time is at hand. Let’s get some real guts in Congress, bold people who demand bold change on behalf of the real people of this nation – not producers of military suppliers, mercenaries and equipment, or the other conglomerates, which siphon billions off the top. Let’s prudently distribute funding for schools so education is truly of equal quality everywhere, giving all bright minds an opportunity to build America up. Let’s demand that Congress live by the restrictions they legislate on others. Let’s cut into that great big pie only the top tier currently has a fork in, and fairly spread the wealth that is collected from the people and should be used for the people.
It’s going to take unprecedented guts in leadership and major change. Right now, we don’t have enough of either. It’s going to take new schools of thought, radical action, and really aggressive new laws as well as the eradication or bold altering of old ones. Some highly invested lawmakers won’t bite that bullet. They’ll have to go.
There’s a scene in Disney’s “Robin Hood” where no more taxes can be collected because the king has all the gold and every citizen who would pay taxes is in debtors’ prison. We’re on our way there, figuratively.
We must replace the decayed thinking of the bought leadership.

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